WHAT IS THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE?
What is the Armenian Genocide?
The atrocities committed against the Armenian people of the Ottoman
Empire during WWI are defined as the Armenian Genocide.
Those massacres were perpetrated throughout different regions of the
Ottoman Empire by the Young Turkish Government which was in power at
The first international reaction to the violence resulted in a joint
statement by France, Russia and Great Britain, in May 1915, where the
Turkish atrocities directed against the Armenian people was defined
as “new crime against humanity and civilization” agreeing that the
Turkish government must be punished for committing such crimes.
Why was the Armenian Genocide perpetrated?
When WWI erupted, the Young Turk government, hoping to save the
remains of the weakened Ottoman Empire, adopted a policy of Pan
Turkism – the establishment of a mega Turkish empire comprising of all
Turkic-speaking peoples of the Caucasus and Central Asia extending to
China, intending also to Turkify all ethnic minorities of the empire.
The Armenian population became the main obstacle standing in the way
of the realization of this policy.
Although the decision for the deportation of all Armenians from the
Western Armenia (Eastern Turkey) was adopted in late 1911, the Young
Turks used WWI as a suitable opportunity for its implementation.
How many people died in the Armenian Genocide?
There were an estimated two million Armenians living in the Ottoman
Empire on the eve of WWI. Approximately one and a half million
Armenians perished between 1915 and 1923. Another half million found
The mechanism of implementation
Genocide is the organized killing of a people for the express purpose
of putting an end to their collective existence. Because of its
scope, genocide requires central planning and an internal machinery
to implement. This makes genocide the quintessential state crime,
as only a government has the resources to carry out such a scheme
On 24th of April in 1915, the first phase of the Armenian massacres
began with the arrest and murder of nearly hundreds intellectuals,
mainly from Constantinople, the capital of Ottoman Empire (now
Istanbul in present day Turkey). Subsequently, Armenians worldwide
commemorate the April 24th as a day that memorializes all the victims
of the Armenian Genocide.
The second phase of the ‘final solution’ appeared with the conscription
of some 60.000 Armenian men into the general Turkish army, who were
later disarmed and killed by their Turkish fellowmen.
The third phase of the genocide comprised of massacres, deportations
and death marches made up of women, children and the elderly into the
Syrian deserts. During those marches hundreds of thousand were killed
by Turkish soldiers, gendarmes and Kurdish mobs. Others died because
of famine, epidemic diseases and exposure to the elements. Thousands
of women and children were raped. Tens of thousands were forcibly
converted to Islam.
Finally, the fourth phase of the Armenian genocide appeared with the
total and utter denial by the Turkish government of the mass killings
and elimination of the Armenian nation on its homeland. Despite the
ongoing international recognition of the Armenian genocide, Turkey
has consistently fought the acceptance of the Armenian Genocide
by any means, including false scholarship, propaganda campaigns,